Item definition files, usually identified by the file extension .ide, are used to declare many different aspects for the map system or to specify special behaviour rules for one of the aspects. They are stored in plain text format, so that they can be opened by any text editing program (like Notepad), but there are also some tools to simplify editing.


The item definition files are split up into several sections. There is no order on how you arrange the sections. Also you do not need to use all the sections in a file

The basic structure of the different sections is pretty simple. Each section starts with a four-character section identifier indicating how the content of the section gets interpreted by the game. The identifier is followed by the definition entries. Each entry takes one line and every line follows certain rules which are described in the articles handling the sections in detail (see below). However lines can also be empty or commented. If so they get ignored by the games' parser. The end of every section are indicated by the terminating string "end". Both (section identifier and terminating string) are not case sensitive, but by default they are written in lower case.

Comments are usually indicated by the character # (number sign). It is possible to add comments to the end of a line, but breaking the line format for the current section using comments may cause the game to crash during loading. It is recommended that a comment should be placed on a separate line. Comments can also be placed outside of sections.

Lines itself are always formatted in the same way differing only in the number of their parameters describing the semantical content of the line. Parameters are usually separated by the character , (comma). Whitespace characters at the beginning or the end of an parameter get trimmed but they are usually used to give the content a more clear structure to make it more easier to read for human. Strings can be encased by the character " (quotation mark), but this is optional and rarely used by default. Also the games' parser uses an invariant culture to parse numerical values and strings. Which means strings are ASCII encrypted and the decimal separator is . (period).

____Section example____





OBJS: Most important section: defines objects for the map.

These objects are placed through the INST section of the item placement files.

TOBJ: Functions similarly to OBJS, but it has two additional parameters defining the ingame time range the object can get rendered.

These objects are placed through the INST section of the item placement files.

ANIM: Functions similarly to OBJS, but it has one additional parameter indicating an IFP or WAD animation file to assign an animation to the object.

These objects are placed through the INST section of the item placement files.

PEDS: Used to define "pedestrians" (Random NPC's).

WEAP: Used to define weapons.

CARS: Used to define vehicles.

HIER: Used to define objects for use in cutscenes.

TXDP: sed to virtually extend texture dictionaries.

2DFX: Used to add particle effects and simple ped behaviors to defined objects.

PATH: Used to create waypoint for random NPC spawns (paths).

TANM: Used to combine TOBJ and ANIM sections.

Those objects get placed inside the INST section of the WPL.

MLO: Used to create interiors. This section does also contain information about portals (previous ENEX connections) and dimensions of the interior which influences certain aspects, like the weather, for example. All objects are placed relative to an offset placed using MLO+ inside the IPL or WPL file.

AMAT: This is Audio Materials. Possible Used to make a sound effect at the model. Usually used for dynamic objects.

HAND: This is only existant on the Xbox version of Vice City. It renders finger movement.

IDE FlagsEdit

Flags are used in order to specify the behaviour of objects. They are interpreted as signed 32-bit integer values where each bit describes a boolean value of a different aspect. The following table shows the standard flags used for objects defined in OBJS, TOBJ and ANIM section.

Flags are used to specify the behaviour of objects. They are signed 32-bit integer values where each bit describes a boolean value of an special aspect.

-1: 1111 1111 1111 1111 1111 1111 Enables all flags. Never used by default.

1: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0001 Wet effect (objects appear darker).

2: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0010 Indicates that the object gets rendered at night for objects dfined in TOBJ.

4: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0100 Alpha transparency 1.

8: 0000 0000 0000 0000 1000 Alpha transparency 2.

16: 0000 0000 0000 0001 0000 Opposite to flag 2.

32: 0000 0000 0000 0010 0000 Indicates an object to be used inside an interior.

64: 0000 0000 0000 0100 0000 Disables the shadow mesh to project a shadow.

128: 0000 0000 0000 1000 0000 Object surface will not be culled.

256: 0000 0000 0001 0000 0000 Disables drag distance (Only used for LOD objects with an LOD value greater than 299).

Difference between GTA III and GTA IV enginesEdit

GTA IV not only uses different formats to the previous games, it also does not use IDs to identify objects anymore. While GTA III era games use an ID as an index inside an array of definitions, GTA IV uses the hashes of the model name as a key inside a hash table. For more information about this see Map System.